Stay safe while using ATMs this Easter

AHEAD of the festivities over Easter weekend, Brighton Beach SAPS division media monitoring together with the Bluff Crime Prevention Forum (CPF) commenced its holiday safety campaign.

The Operational Paseka 2017 operational activities saw 1,000 brochures created by Brighton Beach SAPS media officer, Captain Louise Le Roux, handed out at Bluff Towers, Hillside Mall and Bluff SuperSpar.

“As we celebrate the Easter holidays, our mood becomes relaxed and that is when those with criminal intentions pounce on our vulnerabilities,” said Capt Le Roux.

She offered the following guidelines to stay safe when using an ATM:

  • Avoid isolated ATMs and using them late at night.
  • If you feel unsafe at an ATM or you are suspicious of individuals loitering in the vicinity, trust your instincts and leave.
  • Never write down your personal identification number (PIN) or carry it anywhere near your ATM card.
  • Don’t carry your bank cards with your ID, passport or driver’s license in the same wallet or folder.
  • Never give your card or your PIN to anyone for any reason – not even a bank official, security personnel or a police official. If you think your PIN might be known to anyone else, cancel your card or change your PIN.
  • Write down telephone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards and keep them in a safe place.
  • Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM.
  • Take your time while doing your transaction. Don’t be distracted.
  • Never let a stranger touch your card.
  • It is advisable not to insert your card until instructed to do so by the display screen.
  • Never force your card into the card slot.
  • Be sure no-one is looking over your shoulder when you key in your PIN.
  • Cancel your card if the machine retains it, by calling the card stop number. Be suspicious of anyone offering help. Don’t move away from the machine before you have called the card stop number and make a note of the reference provided by the bank.
  • After the transaction, ensure your own card is returned.
  • Wherever possible, keep your cash withdrawals to a minimum.
  • Don‘t count your cash in front of the ATM, while walking or while sitting in an unlocked vehicle, as you may be followed from an ATM.
  • Be watchful of people following you after you have withdrawn your money (on foot or vehicle). Be on the look-out for people who may bump into you or offer you help, as they may want to pick your pockets or handbag.
  • After drawing money, be extra cautious when arriving at your next destination.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, get yourself to the nearest public place as soon as possible or take out your phone and pretend to make a call. Say the word police with enough volume for the person following you to hear.

Brighton Beach SAPS management thanks CPF chairman, Carl Knauff and executive committee member, Louise Emser for their operational support.

“Two-and-a-half-hours of foot patrols were conducted between the three malls while distributing the brochures.

Partnerships like these allows for the SAPS to work closer with our community in combatting crime in an informative manner.”


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Erin Hanekom

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